President Xi Jinping Saturday visited advisors from the health and education sectors at the fourth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Xi said China must strive to build a high-quality and balanced basic public education system in a discussion with the advisors, and talked about pressing issues in the field of education.
Xi listened to Wang Huan, a member of the CPPCC National Committee, who works in primary school education, talking about after-school training and parental anxiety.
Xi said, "Irregular practices in after-school training can be deemed as a chronic disease difficult to cure."
On the one hand, parents hope that their children can be mentally and physically healthy and can have a happy childhood. On the other hand, they are afraid that their children will lose ground at the start in fierce competition.
In the opinion of such parents, it was "improper to let children attend no extracurricular classes as other students study hard and learn various skills," Xi said.
"Therefore these parents rush to sign up for after-school training for children. We should continue to tackle this educational problem."
Behind parental anxiety was the situation of "evaluating students based on scores alone," Xi said.
"We shouldn’t pay too much attention to grades in schools or home education. Grades are a temporary gain, while growth is the goal that should be pursued.”
"If a child doesn't form a healthy and mature personality, the education he received is of no use.”
"Many children face psychological problems. Some children even have various psychological problems."
Adolescence is the "rapidly growing stage" of a person's life, Xi noted.
Teenagers today live in times when "digitalization, networks and smart technologies are developing," Xi said.
Online courses have broken educational barriers, while "worries in growth" can't be ignored, he said.
Apart from the phenomenon of online gaming by children, Xi said, "there is much filthy and harmful information which hurts their mental health.“
"These phenomena are social problems, which call for joint efforts from all sectors of society and relevant departments."
Xi also talked about educational equity.
"Problems concerning educational equity can't be tackled at one stroke. Such problems even crop up in Beijing. Therefore, the prices of apartments in top school districts are rapidly increasing as parents rush to buy them."
The issue of unbalanced and inadequate education was closely connected to "unbalanced and inadequate regional development," Xi said.
"Therefore we should promote central and western regions' economic and social development by upgrading the educational level in these regions, so as to tackle imbalances in other sectors by tackling imbalances in education."
"We must focus on prominent issues of strong concern to people that undermine the people's interests under the disguise of education, and correct them firmly and thoroughly.”
Xi emphasized socialist orientation in running schools, the nonprofit nature of education, and developing an education system with which people are satisfied.
(Translated by He Jinyin, edited by Sun Tianren and Bai Yuanqi)